Mykolas Riomeris University (LITHUANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 8839-8846
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0990
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
With the recent advances of science of technology, the advancements seem to be (subjectively) related for the majority of us with the most recent developments and discoveries, innovations and applications (iPhone or the discoveries in Mars being examples in the long list of similar ones). Though, as Levi Straus put it (1966), one of the greatest innovations in human history was invention of the technology of producing durable clay-bricks, however, we should admit, that the pace of developments in the course of human history differs greatly during different historical periods. During some periods the advancements were relatively slow, and during the others – the speed was breath-taking. Most important for the survival and flourishing of the humankind developments may have been introduced hundreds and in many cases thousands years ago, however, technological developments in a contemporary world are introduced almost daily, and the impact in some cases is almost instantaneous (or could potentially be).

On the other hand, the pace of developments, or – rather - the impact of developments on everyday life, including studies in higher education, may be either overrated, or used just to a proportion of true potential, or - to the very least- unreflected. With higher education being at focus, the impact (or reflection upon impact) on technologies for studies is analysed further on. The paper is aimed to examine to what extent contemporary students of several universities reflect about themselves as using virtual learning environment (VLE) for their studies.

Aim of this paper to present theoretical and considerations and empirical findings on the usage of VLE for studies from the perspective of students.

The research question addressed in the study: to what extent do students of several universities reflect about themselves as using VLE for their studies (data from 2015 and 2016 is used)?

The first objective as well as the first section of the paper is to analyse the most recent studies and data in the field of using virtual learning platforms.

The second objective as well as the second section of the paper will be dedicated to reflections of the role of virtual learning environments for the education. Method of critical analysis will be employed for development of those two objectives.

The third objective as well as the third section of the paper will be dedicated for presentation of empiric data on how students at X, Y and Z universities reflect on tools that they use for learning in their studies are presented. The on-line questionnaire was used in 2014-2015 (1 phase and in 2016 (second phase).

The fourth objective (and, therefore, the fourth section in the paper) will present considerations on the reasons together with recommendations on possible educational interventions to increase the effectiveness of blended mode studies will be presented.
Blended learning, e-learning, virtual learning environment.